Recently, I have become increasingly alerted to the remedy – Asarum Europeum (Snakeroot plant) in cases of high-functioning autism. This is based on the combination of symptoms of extreme sensitivity with marked precocity. Their sensitivity is so intense that it can even be evoked from their mere imagination.
Often, in the cases requiring this remedy is a precocity in just one area of their lives – usually expressed in an academic or creative way – but an absolute intolerance of the onslaught of daily stimuli to the point of compromised functioning.
This understanding needs to be unpacked from the presentation in the materia medica of this remedy where it is presented as a linear remedy. Of course, most materia medica were written long before the proliferation of autism was recognised in our cases today, and this enables us to adopt the ability to unpack them for their applicability in the phenomena in society we are observing today.
In her book, ‘Unmasking Autism: the Power of Embracing our Hidden Neurodiversity’, Dr. Devon Price expresses the phenomenon of ‘sensory overload’ where the individual often acts out their distress in a seemingly disruptive manner.
This is often interpreted by those around them as naughtiness and parental chastisement is frequently the tool used to misguidedly correct the behaviour which is manifest. This is the worst approach according to this author. She spells it out very succinctly:
‘Sensory overload can look like a temper tantrum or a crying fit, it can take the form of a shutdown or meltdown, or it can present as the autistic person becoming confused and responding to questions in routinised or nonsensical ways’. She goes on to say:
‘Sensory overload makes it hard to complete complex tasks, think things through rationally, or manage emotions. When we are overloaded, we become irritable, or filled with despair. Our bodies are visibly tense with anxiety, and we are difficult to engage with during these times.
What non-autistic folks often do not realise, is that autistic people experience sensory input as if it were physical pain’. This last statement really brings home the extent of the suffering.
This reminded me how much homeopaths need to be alerted to the tendency of parents/carers of autistic children reacting to them in this punitive manner which only goes to markedly compound this expression of behaviour. This needs to be pointed out as otherwise it remains as a ‘maintaining cause’ in the child’s onward development and can contribute to a resolution of symptoms if addressed early enough in the case.
Rajan Sankaran, speaks of Asarum europeum belonging to the Aristolochia family where the child has the sensitivity and reactivity of an unborn child without skin, without any tools to take their place in this life. He speaks of them feeling like aliens, being confused, and not understanding life on earth.
According to him, in evolution, these children are still in the Oneness of the Universe. They experience this pre-ego state at the early Erikson stages as an unborn or young child. The four terms to describe their outlook he applies are: beclouded, bewildered, confused, and strange.
The child needing this remedy often presents in a peevish manner as a result of their sensory overload and – more importantly – how it is managed by those around them. They can be very hyperactive in their presentation. This can prevent sleep where it can take more than an hour or two to settle down.
As the child develops, often they resort to alcohol to assuage their confusion, the alcohol often adding to their depression and sense of bewilderment mentioned above. After all, I perceive alcoholism on the same spectrum as autism and often materialises as part of the development of the individual to unconsciously mask the manifestation of their state.
Tarentula hispanica is a remedy for hyperactive children who often resist eating due to the issue they have with textures. In Asarum europeum, there can be a nausea from food which contributes to their resistance to eating.
Theridion is another spider remedy (like Tarentula hispanica) where there is a parallel to Asarum with the marked restlessness combined with jumpiness. However, the level of extreme sensitivity does not manifest in this very extreme way in Theridion.